This week we kicked off our 2021 Speaker Series with a fantastic session by Splunk Product Management Director, Siddharth Bhai. Pulling from his years of experience as a product manager at Google, Microsoft, and now Splunk, he spoke to a packed zoom audience about the challenges product leaders face during cloud product adoption. Watch the full video above, and let’s roll through the highlights below.
On 2020 and trend acceleration
2020 pushed digital product to new heights, and with much of the workforce challenged with the task of working from home, cloud products were put through their paces. According to Siddharth, the trend of cloud product adoption is, in fact, accelerating.
“Pretty much every CEO, CIO, CTO, product, or engineering leader can probably find some benefits from cloud products. Yet, when it gets down to actually adopting these cloud products, those brainstorming sessions turn into pretty complicated discussions. You run into a lot of real-world challenges. For example, you might hear about existing line of business applications, industry-specific regulations, contracts, security, etc. All of this put together makes adopting cloud services a pretty puzzling journey.”
On the challenges of cloud product adoption
Continuing into the meat of his presentation, Siddharth uses real-life stories to illustrate the challenges that occur during cloud product adoption.
“Oftentimes, you end up with a main leader, or one decision-maker, typically a company veteran. If a company is to adopt something new, or if anything is to get accepted and deployed, essentially, this person has to sign off on that deployment. This trend of tribal knowledge and customization built up over the years tends to have an impact on product adoption.”
“In another situation, we were talking to the right decision-maker, but their manager had recently pushed for the adoption of a different, similar product. That other product, unfortunately, was not meeting their use cases, so it just wasn’t the right type of environment in which they felt they could embrace a different product. So if your boss or department just went through a major overhaul, or deployment of a different type of product, that might get in the way of getting your product deployed.”
On outside influencers
Sometimes everything internal will line up beautifully but a roadblock appears elsewhere. Siddharth illustrates the challenges product leaders can expect when third parties come into play.
“Another challenge we encountered – a customer had a contract with an existing MSP, or Management Services Provider. That other company, who was contracted to manage some related set of applications and infrastructure for them, said that if they were to use a cloud service, they would no longer support them. Even though the cloud service was more feature-rich and solves more problems out of the gate, this ended up slowing down that deployment for the foreseeable future.
“Another customer said that for them to use this product, it needed to continue to meet their auditors needs. It was a good relationship set up with their auditors, and the auditors expected to see certain things a certain way. So, all of that cool tech was for nothing if we could not go ahead and provide those types of inputs. That was homework for us to take back as a feature request, work on it, and come back.”
About the speaker
Siddharth Bhai is a Product Management Director at Splunk. Prior to this role, he spent 5+ years in Google's and 8+ years in Microsoft's Product Management teams. At Splunk, he leads identity & security for Splunk Cloud Platform Services. He has been working on enterprise products for over a decade and enjoys working with many Fortune 1000 & established companies. He has spoken at major industry conferences, including Hybrid Identity Protection, Directory Experts Conference, Microsoft TechEd, and Google Cloud Next. As an enthusiastic advocate of the product community, he loves connecting with industry professionals during and outside of conference sessions.